Berlusconi delays critical parliamentary speech

He will now address the Chamber of Deputies later today on the country’s financial crisis, one day after yields on Italian 10-year government bonds reached their highest levels since 1997, reports the FT

After two days of rising yields, the rates have fallen back slightly to about 6.02%.

Italy has so far managed to avoid requesting a bailout, despite government debt levels climbing to nearly 120% of GDP.

Italy has one of the highest public debt levels in the world and recently passed a three-year, €40 billion (£35 billion) austerity package which Berlusconi claimed could erase the country’s budget deficit, worth 4.5% of its GDP, by 2014.